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Archive for the ‘U.S./North America’ Category

NHTSA Opens Probe into Hyundai, Kia Airbag Issue

Airbag problem could extend beyond named makers.

by on Mar.19, 2018

The Kia Forte's airbag is subject to an investigation by NHTSA for the 2012–13 model years.

Less than a month after Hyundai declared there is a problem, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it is investigating airbag problems affecting 425,000 Kia and Hyundai vehicles.

The agency is also looking to see if the problem – airbags not inflating during a collision – is affecting other automakers.

News Now!

Over the weekend, NHTSA said it was opening a query into 2011 Hyundai Sonata and 2012–13 Kia Forte vehicles. The move comes after the agency said it received reports that because of the problem in sixn instances, there have been four deaths and six injuries. (more…)

Self-Driving Uber Test Vehicle Kills Pedestrian

Company halts all autonomous testing.

by on Mar.19, 2018

An Uber Volvo XC90 was involved in a minor crash, getting flipped onto its side, during a test program near Phoenix last year.

Company’s testing autonomous vehicles and self-driving technologies have one giant fear, a fatality. That fear became a reality last night for Uber as one of its self-driving vehicles killed a pedestrian in Tempe, Arizona.

The incident occurred when the vehicle was in autonomous mode; however, there was a safety engineer behind the wheel, which is standard Uber practice. There were no other passengers in the vehicle at the time.

Autonomous News!

According to a USA Today report, the woman, who has not yet been named, was crossing outside the designated crosswalk at about 10 p.m. when she was hit, police said. (more…)

VW Adding Two-Row Atlas to Line-Up

Five-seat SUV "concept" set to make NYIAS debut.

by on Mar.19, 2018

Bound for the Big Apple - Volkswagen gives us a first look at the 5-seat version of the Atlas.

It may have been late to the SUV party but Volkswagen seems determined to catch up with a rapidly expanding line-up of new models.

The latest offering will make its debut at this month’s New York International Auto Show – albeit in concept form. And with a two-row version of its largest crossover, VW appears to be ready to chase another niche in the booming utility vehicle market.

Auto Show News!

“The Atlas has built strong momentum for Volkswagen in the SUV segment, and we are excited to grow our SUV portfolio with this new, Chattanooga-assembled five-passenger SUV,” said Hinrich J. Woebcken, President and CEO, Volkswagen Group of America, Inc.


Lincoln Launching New Aviator in New York

Ford's luxury brand introducing another SUV.

by on Mar.19, 2018

The new Lincoln Aviator will debut at the New York International Auto Show.

On the heels of the announcement last week by the Ford Motor Co. that it plans to spend $7 billion to bring new SUVs to showrooms, Lincoln is preparing to show off the production ready version of the all new Lincoln Aviator at the New York International Auto Show.

The Lincoln Motor Co. offered few details about the launch, but said the debut a production preview of the all-new Lincoln Aviator will happen Wednesday, March 28 in New York.

Auto Show News!

The Aviator, going on display in New York, is the first of two all-new utilities that Lincoln will bring to market in the next two years as it grows its utility portfolio and commits to electrification across its lineup globally.  (more…)

FCA Recalling 300K Ram Pickups for Gas Tank Problem

Automaker's second Ram pickup recall in last month.

by on Mar.16, 2018

FCA is recalling 300,000 Ram pickups due to a problem with the gas tank.

Fiat Chrysler issued another gas tank-related recall, ordering more than 300,000 Ram pickup trucks to head to dealers because the fuel tanks can sag.

The action affects Ram 1500 pickups from 2009–12, mainly in cold-weather U.S. states and Canada where salt is used to clear snow from roads. In the U.S. the trucks are in 20 states and Washington, D.C.

Safety News!

An investigation found a bracket can corrode, allowing the tanks sag, the company noted. The remaining structure will stop the tanks from falling. Fiat Chrysler says it’s not aware of any crashes, fires, leaks or injuries due to the problem. (more…)

BMW Showing Off Second-Gen X4 M40i M Performance at NYIAS

Bavarian automaker bringing slew of new models to the Big Apple.

by on Mar.15, 2018

The 2019 BMW X4 M40i M Performance makes its North American debut in New York.

With the threat of a tariff in the air, BMW will introduce the 2019 BMW X4 M40i M Performance to North America at the New York International Auto Show later this month.

The second-gen BMW X4 M40i M Performance brings sportier proportions, wider tracks, and the latest generation suspension settings than its predecessor. It also boasts a lower center of gravity and better aerodynamics.

News Now!

The new X4 M40i is outfitted with an inline six-cylinder engine that produces 355 horsepower and 365 pound-feet of torque. It springs from 0-60 mph in just 4.6 seconds. In the U.S., it comes standard with M Sport brakes, allowing drivers to enjoy exceptionally dynamic handling with phenomenal stopping power. (more…)

Waymo Lets Folks Peer Behind the Autonomous Curtain

CEO Krafcik promotes self-driving cars with videos at SXSW.

by on Mar.15, 2018

These girls commemorated their ride in Waymo's autonomous minivan with a selfie.

Surveys are showing that a majority of Americans are uncomfortable with the idea of riding in an autonomous, or self-driving vehicle.

In fact, the most recent AAA study shows that 63% of Americans are reticent to get into an autonomous car. That number is down from 78% from the previous year.

Tech News!

Although the numbers of nays are shrinking, its apparent that it’s going to require some heavy marketing on the part of automakers that are heavily investing in self-driving technology development, and Waymo CEO John Krafcik is helping to lead the charge. (more…)

Tesla Struggling With Major Quality Issues

Current, former employees claim poor quality parts adding to delays.

by on Mar.14, 2018

Tesla's Fremont plant is churning out poor quality parts and vehicles, according current and former employees.

California-based EV maker Tesla’s ongoing struggles with two major problems – executive retention and manufacturing quality – reared their ugly heads again this week.

The company saw two high-level executives, Susan Repo, Tesla’s corporate treasurer and vice president of finance, and Eric Branderiz, chief accounting officer, leave the company within about a week of one another.

News Now!

Repo left to become the chief financial officer of another company and Branderiz left for personal reasons, according to reports. (more…)

Ford Recalling More Than 1.3M Vehicles

Automaker takes action on steering wheel problem.

by on Mar.14, 2018

Ford is recalling 1.3 million 2014–18 model year Ford Fusions and Lincoln MKZs for a problem with the steering wheel.

Ford Motor Co. is recalling approximately 1.3 million Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ sedans due to a problem with the steering wheel detaching from the steering column.

The automaker says the affected vehicles are from the 2014–18 model years. The cars have a steering wheel bolt that could potentially loosen over time, causing steering wheel to detach from the steering column.

Safety News!

Ford said it is aware of two accidents with one injury that was allegedly related to the steering wheel bolt problem. (more…)

VW Ups EV Ante as it Places $25B in Battery Orders

German giant now outspending rival Tesla.

by on Mar.14, 2018

VW plans to have 30 fully electric vehicles ready by 2025, including models based on the ID Buzz and ID Crozz concepts.

As it ramps up plans to sell at least 3 million electrified vehicles annually by 2025, Volkswagen has announced orders for $25 billion worth of batteries and battery components – dwarfing the spending plans of all-electric competitor Tesla.

Longer-term, VW said it plans to more than double that total as it prepares to offer some form of electrified drivetrain for every vehicle in its line-up – including dozens of all-electric models. It plans to roll out its first three long-range battery-electric vehicles this year, including offerings from its Volkswagen, Porsche and Audi brands. It also will launch a new sub-brand, Volkswagen I.D., which will include in its portfolio the all-electric Buzz, a modern take on the automaker’s iconic Microbus.

News You Can Trust!

Among all 12 brands in the Volkswagen Group family, CEO Matthias Mueller said that there will be new battery-powered models launched “virtually every month,” as the new program ramps up, adding that “This is how we intend to offer the largest fleet of electric vehicles in the world.” (more…)